From what I understood from both those shootouts, they appeared to indicate that if you want accuracy at the sort of range you'd often be casting a rod of that length, then you're probably better off looking elsewhere and paying a bit more money (perhaps buying a second hand rod if on a tight budget). It's OK saying a certain rod cast a good distance, but as we know, casting to the horizon each time is not all it's about.These shootouts are good and confirm that paying more for a rod doesn't necessarily give you a better rod. I believe the Fenwick Aetos is the same as the old Greys XF2? However, they are comparing a very cheap Maxcatch starter rod with very much more expensive rods. It would be interesting to compare a Maxcatch rod closer in price but still much cheaper, such as the Professional range.
It's easy to lose sight of factors like this if something appears ridiculously cheap, but is it really 'great value for money' if it's not particularly accurate? Also, what's the feel like when playing a fish? This aspect is often completely overlooked in rod tests and comparisons, but an important part of the overall experience of using a fishing rod.
I'd agree that a 'shootout' against budget priced rods from well known manufacturers would probably be more useful than one against mid to upper price range rods (where, depending on the skills of the caster, a difference may be more pronounced). Also, making sure each test rod is matched to both a floating and sinking line that suits it, so as to get the best out of each one.